|Smeralda Coast of Sardinia (picture from the back of our cab driver's card)|
Here's a beautiful video on You Tube called "One Day in Sardegna" made by 19MARKESS85 :
This area reminded me of my native coastal Southern California where I lived for more than 50 years before I moved to New Mexico. The geology, the coastline, the vegetation all were similar to California so I felt like I was home. The sea was clearer and bluer, and believe it or not, the real estate was pricier! The high cost of living on the Costa Smeralda and communities like Porto Cervo are the result of a rich Prince discovering the area in 1962 when his yacht took shelter in the harbor there. Prince Aga Khan the IV fell in love with the area and quickly bought up the coastline to preserve it's natural beauty and ecology through a non-profit consortium. He and investors then went on to develop one of the most exclusive vacation spots on earth. The area has its critics and the antics of wealthy playboys and tycoons have raised the ire of the citizens of Sardinia but Sardinia completely understands the positive impact of tourism on its economy in addition to traditional economic activities like wine, cork, olives, farming, livestock, and fishing.
|View of Costa Smeralda|
|The crystal clear water of the beaches|
|I took my shoes off and stepped into the Mediterranean|
|What a beautiful place to share together!|
|A Cormorant fishing from the rocks|
|Perfect little flowers...|
|...perfect little beach...|
|The perfect little harbor at Porto Cervo...|
|...and the perfect little shops...|
|...all empty now since the season ended in September|
I shopped a local farmer's market on the street tasting wines and liquers, honey, preserves and pastries before buying some limoncello, cookies, and some small cork boxes. Cork trees on Sardinia are an important natural resource, producing 85% of all Italian cork.
|Cork boxes with Sard designs|
|Limoncello made in Sardinia|
|We enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant in Olbia|
|Tried the local seafood and pasta|
We enjoyed a seafood and pasta lunch at Antica Trattoria and walked back to the port shuttle to return to the ship. Our ship set off at 5PM, headed for the Italian mainland and the Port of Livorno. I was very excited that I would be visiting Florence the next day!
That evening, we opted to try one of the upscale restaurants on board the ship. My dessert (a triple flavor Tiramisu) was very attractively presented. (Ohhh, I think I must have gained 10 pounds on this cruise so far!)